HUNTSVILLE -- Two teenagers are lucky to be all right after their car rolled three times and 150 feet down a mountain embankment.
Erin Nixon, 16, of Centerville, was driving northbound on State Route 126 with her friend Jericho Buck, 17, of Huntsville. Around 6:35 p.m., they approached a turn in Nixon's red 1993 Mazda Protege but failed to make it, instead going off the road and down an embankment near Mile Marker 9.5.
"Had they hit the guard rail instead of (missing it) by 20 feet," emergency responders would have been dealing with a far more serious accident, Weber County Sheriff's Sgt. Ryon Hadley said.
After going off the road, the car rolled end-over-end until it came to rest on its wheels against a thicket of trees. Depressions in the embankment show where the car's ends bounced off the ground.
Buck said his first thought turned to his friend, wondering, "Is she OK?"
She was, as was he. They both had been wearing their seat belts. Both teenagers were treated at the scene and released to their fathers, who came to pick them up.
In fact, even Nixon's laptop was fine. The car, though, was totaled. Nixon had owned it for all of three weeks.
A tow truck slowly pulled the car 150 feet up the embankment and around the rail.
Nixon was cited for failure to remain in control of her vehicle. Police believe speed was a factor in the accident.
People who arrived at the scene -- emergency responders, towers, the teens' parents -- were surprised by what good condition the two teenagers were in compared to how serious the accident appeared.
Tim Buck, Jericho's father, said, "If they are going to learn from anything, they should learn from firsthand experience."